August 3rd Banned and Restricted Update

Mothership News 
By: Kagros - 03 Aug 2020

Wizards has updated the Banlist today, so let's take a quick look at the announcement!

Announcement Date: August 3, 2020

Standard

Wilderness Reclamationimage is banned.

Growth Spiralimage is banned.

Teferi, Time Ravelerimage is banned.

Cauldron Familiarimage is banned.

Pioneer

Inverter of Truthimage is banned.

Kethis, the Hidden Handimage is banned.

Walking Ballistaimage is banned.

Underworld Breachimage is banned.

Historic

Wilderness Reclamationimage is suspended.

Teferi, Time Ravelerimage is suspended.

Brawl

Teferi, Time Ravelerimage is banned.

Effective Date: August 3, 2020

What Does This Mean?

This was a surprise announcement since there was no advance announcement about the bannings. Wizards states that this is an experiment due to "the increased focus on digital play environments." Rather than talk about the individual cards today, it's best to discuss the state of the game.

Rotation is about to hit Standard, but most of the cards banned were due to rotate, which seems a little boggling. Wizards views these particular bans to be an early rotation meant to breathe life back into the Standard metagame, since MTGA is one of the primary ways currently to play Magic. After the previous Standard banning where Fires and Agent were banned, it was obvious that the only "free mana" card, Wilderness Reclamation, would become the next threat in the metagame. Why Wizards didn't ban it then remains a mystery to me, but it should've been dealt with a long time ago. Because Reclamation was banned, Teferi, who held the Reclamation decks in check, got banned as well. This is another card that should've be banned a long time ago due to the card shutting off a lot of decks, which decreased deck diversity. Cauldron Familiar is a preemptive ban, meant to not allow Cat Combo suppress the metagame when Zendikar comes out.

To say the July Pioneer bans was underwhelming is an understatement. I was very baffled in July when Wizards announced that they were "happy with the shape of the metagame" given that how the Combo-friendly environment deters people from actually playing the format. The majority of the community also felt this way and Wizards is now writing "while win rate data may not point to change being needed, a different, more important set of data does: player participation." They go on to state "ultimately, how much fun players are having with the environment is the most important driving force behind B&R updates." I mean, if fun really is the most important driving force, then why didn't you ban the Combo decks earlier? Wizards even acknowledged that they knew how players felt about Pioneer in the July B&R announcement. Well, better late than never, I suppose. Not banning Thassa's Oracleimage may lead to problems in the future, but Wizards explains why they left Oracle untouched.

The Historic bans are mirroring the Standard bans as well and Teferi going, especially, should help the format.

What are your thoughts on the Banlist update? Do you think it was a little too late or is it better late than never?

About Kagros:

Aether Hub News Team member. Writing thoughts on Magic news and fun gameplay!

Comments

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2 comments

Intrepid_Tautog
Wow, that was a very heavy ban hammer.
MichaelRedfern
Wilderness Reclamation should have been hit long before now but i guess it got its money worth now.
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